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A Fully Endowed Suite

Generous donors ensure support of all Asian art curators
August 29, 2023

Korea Foundation president Kim Ki-hwan (right) with CMA director William M. Griswold and CMA members on the director-led trip to South Korea

The CMA’s celebrated collection of Asian art, which includes significant works of art from India, the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, Japan, Korea, the Islamic lands, and China, inspires Cleveland and worldwide audiences every day. The collection continues to grow in global importance with the addition of contemporary and historical Asian art holdings and through the dedicated work of the museum’s curators of Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Indian and Southeast Asian art. 

Now, the CMA celebrates a historic moment for the Asian art collection. After transformational gifts from Janice Hammond and Edward Hemmelgarn and the Korea Foundation—building on the currently endowed curatorial roles within Indian and Southeast Asian art and Chinese art—we are proud to announce the establishment of a fully endowed suite of Asian art curators. About this fully endowed suite, Heather Lemonedes Brown, Virginia N. and Randall J. Barbato Deputy Director and Chief Curator, says: “The generosity of Janice Hammond and Edward Hemmelgarn—who provided the funds to endow the position of the curator of Japanese art—and the Korea Foundation—who provided a grant that made it possible to endow the position of the curator of Korean art—makes a tremendous impact upon the Cleveland Museum of Art today and for generations into the future.”

Hammond and Hemmelgarn have been dedicated members and enthusiastic supporters of the CMA for over 30 years. In addition to their philanthropic giving, they offer leadership and guidance through their roles as trustee (Hemmelgarn) and Womens Council member (Hammond). Both of their steadfast commitments to the CMA have helped the museum achieve many of its most important initiatives. Their recent gift to endow the curator of Japanese art underscores their profound and lasting contributions to the CMA. 

Janice Hammond and Edward Hemmelgarn

The Korea Foundation has been a generous supporter of the CMA since 2009, with the establishment of the Korea Foundation Gallery, which beautifully displays the museum’s collection of Korean art. The Korea Foundation’s commitment to advancing the work of the curator of Korean art further solidifies their meaningful partnership with the CMA. 

Brown continues: “The extraordinary philanthropic gifts of Hammond and Hemmelgarn and the Korea Foundation ensure that the CMA will always be able to employ the most accomplished curators in these newly endowed areas who will curate special exhibitions and publish research on Japanese and Korean art, recommend new acquisitions in their areas of expertise, and deepen our understanding and appreciation of Japanese and Korean art and culture from the ancient period until today. The CMA is celebrated for the quality of its collections of Asian art, and we are committed to adding to our collections of Korean and Japanese art and to enhancing our visitors’ understanding of the artistic histories and legacies of these cultures.”